J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2010 May;49(3):324-331.

Evaluation of Self-Awareness of Memory Impairment in Elderly Community

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, Seoul, Korea. benji@snu.ac.kr


We aimed to evaluate discrepancies between self-awareness of memory functions and actual memory functions in the elderly community.
A total of 369 individuals aged over 65 years from four elderly community centers completed clinical evaluation, neuropsychological batteries of the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's disease (CERAD-K), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), and the Hachinski Ischemic Score.
Among the elderly particpants, 26.3% showed incorrect awareness regarding their memory function. Those with subjective memory complaints included 73.5% with no memory impairment, while those without memory complaints included 11.3% of those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and 4.3% of those with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Subjective memory complaints were significantly associated with depression. Among the elderly with no memory complaints, incorrect awareness was associated with 'no previous education' (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.3-9.8), 'age over 80' (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1-5.4), and 'male' (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0-5.2) ; however, it was not significantly associated with depression.
Incorrect awareness of memory impairment is prevalent among the elderly. Further, elderly individuals of an advanced age with no education may have memory impairment without memory complaints.


Awareness; Community; Mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer's disease
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